Get to Know Your Pest

The House Mouse

“Know Your Enemy” is a quote best known from the legendary writings and teachings of The Art of War. While the house mouse may seem friendly enough, he is most certainly an enemy. So, to take a page from The Art of War, we are profiling one of our least favorite pests, the common house mouse. The house mouse is a small pesky rodent, with a characteristically pointed snout. You may have seen them scurry alongside the walls of your home or office. It has round ears, a long, mostly hairless tail, and is most commonly found in the color brown. They are small and usually only reach a few inches in length and a few ounces in weight as adults. This breed is the most common of all the mice species and although it is wild, mainly lives in association with humans. If you have ever had a pet mouse as a child or seen a laboratory mouse on television or in the news, that is most often your common variety house mouse. Mice are mostly nocturnal and avoid bright lights. The average house mouse will sleep 12-13 hours per day. They live in a wide variety of hidden places around the home, but always close to a food source, and will create a nest of anything soft that they come upon. Mice are territorial to one another; one male will live with a group of females and their children and male mice (for the most part) respect each other’s given territories. Mice reproduce quickly and efficiently and gestation is only 19-21 days and can yield 3-14 offspring. One female can do this up to 10 times per year. They also tend to have a lifespan of one year, sometimes longer in captivity. The house mouse can spread disease, contaminate your food, and become invasive and damaging to the home. Once a home is infested, mouse droppings and urine will become an immediate problem and will be a great concern to the homeowner’s food and kitchen tools. Mice can carry and transmit Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, most threatening to pregnant women. They also spread bacteria like rickettsialpox and leptospirosis. Research has been conducted discovering that young children who are exposed to mouse dander and feces may develop asthma and/or allergies later in life. Knowing your enemy is perhaps step one in defeating them. Now that you understand the common house mouse and know his appearance and behavior, you can more easily identify him. If you have a mouse or rodent problem in your home or office contact our professional team of experts now.